Vocalist Unnikrishnan’s performance always revealed his penchant for a balanced performance, making listening a pleasure.
What one admires in his concert is the obvious and uninhibited relish with which he presents the music, succeeding well in creating a feeling of sumptuousness to listeners. The moot question is whether this is attributable to his voice. Trained to sing in a style by maestro S Ramanathan, vocalist Unnikrishnan satisfied music lovers at the concert in Narada Gana Sabha. His intuition to the finer forms of musical expression was revealed in the presentation of raga Andholika when he took up kriti (Sevikka Vendum Ayah) of Muthu Thandavar, through a series of musically-nuanced and rhythmically engaging swara exercises.
When he embarked on raga Varali and developed Seshachala Nayakam, displaying convincing imagination in the niraval and swara sessions at Aravindha Batra Nayanam, he was reassuring his capability.
The Bhairavi alapana that followed, began well and developed through rakthi prayogas, before touching the upper shadja. I wonder why the rishaba refused to align itself with the pitch. Definitely, phrases in the ‘ascending’ scale were competent enough, but the ‘descent’ was enfeebled, by fast deliveries. Better modulation in vocal delivery might have reduced the shrillness. Charumathy Raghavan’s portrayal of Varali raga on the violin was noticeably pleasing. Ananth R Krishnan (mridangam), grandson of Palghat Raghu, and Giridhar Uduppa (Ghatam) elated the audience with an energetic Thani. On the whole, this was music as benison.